Saturday, November 5, 2011

Why Did Dorothy Run Away?

At the end of the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy learns that there's no place like home and that if she wants to find happiness she'll look no further than "her own front yard." Admirable sentiments, I suppose, back in the 1930's. Not so impressive now, in my opinion. But why did Dorothy run away to begin with? And what will be the consequence for her having returned home?

In my faded memories of the movie, I had thought that Dorothy ran away because she wanted to get away from the restrictions and boredom of small farm life in Kansas. She tried to get Professor Marvel to take her with him to see all the "great heads of Europe." She sang of wanting to go "over the rainbow."

However, the real reason she ran away was to save Toto! Elvira Gulch was taking him to the sheriff to be destroyed because he bit her on the leg, but he escaped and Dorothy decided to run away before Mrs. Gulch returned for him.

When she "returns" home from her head-injury-induced fantasy visit to Oz, she is happy to be home and says she won't leave again. But what about poor Toto? The Wicked Witch of the West/Mrs. Gulch are destroyed in Dorothy's unconscious journey, but certainly not in real life. Poor Toto!

I say she should have kept running.